Popular Hawaiian Dishes

These traditional Hawaiian dishes are perfect for any luau.

Lomi Lomi Salmon
The popular luau dish is named for the Hawaiian words for rub, massage, or knead. Traditionally, the salt is rubbed onto the salmon, and the salmon, onions, and tomato are then massaged together with your hands. We opted for a tidier preparation. Soaking the diced white onion mellows the flavor by taming its sharp bite.

Tuna Poke
In this sushi-like dish, raw tuna is marinated in soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil, and served atop cucumber slices as a finger food. Be sure to use sushi-grade tuna, as the poke isn't "cooked" with citrus juices as in seviche.

Poi
This Hawaiian national dish is made from taro root, a starchy tuber early Hawaiians brought with them from Polynesia. Poi is considered a traditional Hawaiian food because it was eaten before the cuisine was influenced by the Western world. Taro is boiled, peeled, and pounded into a paste (the white or pink flesh often turns purple when cooked). In our recipe, we've let the blender take care of pounding.

Hawaiian Bread
This famous bread is actually a Portuguese sweet bread. It's delicious toasted for breakfast or used to make sandwiches.

Kimchi
This Korean salt-pickled cabbage dish is a very popular side in Hawaii. It can also be served on a pupu, or appetizer, platter.

Chicken Char Siu
Brought by Chinese immigrants to Hawaii, this dish is typically made with baby back ribs. Skinless, boneless chicken thighs are a tender and tasty substitute with less fat.

Chicken and Pork Adobo
It may be the national dish of the Phillipines, but this recipe of meat braised in a vinegary sauce is also popular at luaus. With both pork and chicken to choose from, it's a good way to satisfy a wide variety of guests.

Oven Kalua Pork
Roasting a whole pig over an open fire, though delicious, isn't very practical for a backyard or indoor party. Recreate the flavor in your oven with this tender, slow-roasted recipe.